Thursday, May 29, 2014

Step 12: Service

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.

Step 12 Reading

One of the most important services I can offer is to share my testimony. That's one of the reasons for my blog. however, as I support others, I am only as effective as I am in my own recovery so I must keep up my own progress as a priority and avoid self-righteous tendencies.

I've noticed a big change in the way I support others after working the steps to the degree that I have. I don't give advice the same way I used to do. I don't try to fix other people. My thoughts don't dwell on ways to help solve other people's problems anymore. It's much more peaceful and I can keep myself separated from the drama in other people's lives.

Instead I am able to just listen and offer only things that I feel prayerfully enter my heart and that I'm impressed to say, and even then it's usually not in the form of advice but instead some kind of spiritual thought or personal application of my own that might apply to them.

My recovery doesn't only allow me to be a good support person for other people in recovery, but for all my friends and family in all aspects of my life. I'm a much more healthy support for any situation.

After going through recovery, and as I continue in recovery, I am also feeling more able to apply scriptures to my life on a more personal level. Recently I was at a support meeting and the line in step 11 stood out to me that said to pray and allow my meditation to be guided by the scriptures. I hadn't thought of meditation as a scripture study thing before because I had always thought of balancing the chakra and clearing the mind as "meditation" however, it's just saying thoughtful pondering.

So I looked up "Meditate" in the Topical Guide and found many scriptures to ponder about the meaning of meditation.  The scripture that stood out to me most was in Luke when Jesus tells his disciples to settle their answers in their hearts before they go out to preach because they when they are asked they won't have to think about (or meditate) on the answer. It would already be there. I had heard this before growing up in the gospel, when it comes to avoiding temptation. Already have the answer in decided so when temptation strikes you don't even think about it.  I hadn't realized that teaching was actual from Christ himself.

Then later the same thing, or similar, is said in D&C 84.  "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." So it's another meaning behind meditating upon the words of Christ all the time so his words are in my heart and I am able to be guided in my words when the time comes.

I am converted in a much deeper way after working the steps. It's helped me to use the Lord's atonement in ways I hadn't thought about before and that has brought me into a deeper relationship with my Savior. I love Him more and rely on Him more in my life. I no longer rely on my own knowledge or even the knowledge of those around me. Instead I know the Lord gives the best answers and He will give me the words of support and comfort.  Whatever good I bring into the world comes from Him, not me.

I must admit that I am not perfect at this, however. Even now I slip up and find myself having to find balance again. As I serve others I constantly still need to check myself for any ulterior motives or expectations in my service. When I serve for the wrong reasons, I find myself triggered and trying to turn to my media addiction at every turn. But I need to forgive myself and go forward.

The Savior works through imperfect people. I just have to listen to His guidance and do my best to live so I can hear it.

I think there has been a theme to my studies lately whenever I look into the scriptures. I must need to hear it. Because the last scripture I looked into with this step is D&C 31:11-13 which says "Go your way whithersoever I will and it shall be given you by the comforter what to do and where to go. Pray faithful...I am with you." So not only study and it's given, but go my way wherever the Lord wills me to go. I will be told what to do and where to go as I pray and keep my heart open to acknowledging His constant presence. I need to pray always and do my best to follow Him.

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